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tv   Al Jazeera World News  LINKTV  December 20, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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is the mayan calendar pointing to the end of the world or a new beginning? republicans are calling it plan b. tax cut aimed atmi keeping the u.s. from the fiscal cliff. the plan is expected to be rejected by the senate. if the parties cannot agree by the end of the year, many are predicting chaos. >> it is an exercise in republican vote counting that will not result in anything for the american people.
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it cannot pass the senate. the president would veto it if it got to his desk. plan b, which is the only thing the house of representatives and the republicans are focused on now, a multi day exercise in utility, at a time when we do not have the luxury of exercises in futility. >> president obama and senate democrats have not done much of anything. their plan b is to slow what does over the fiscal cliff. for weeks they said they would make substantial expansions on spending cuts. i did my part. they have done nothing. >> the stalemate is moving the u.s. economy towards a so-called who fiscal cliff if agreement cannot be reached.
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it is expected to cause the economy to shrink close to 4% of gross domestic product. some fear it will lead to a recession. many economists are calling for a long-term deal to reform the tax system. let's get more from washington. why are they even voting on this plan? >> it is about leverage. it is about blame. the republicans want to be able to say, we passed a bill that would raise taxes on millionaires to keep tax rates the same for everyone who does not make $1 million a year. it was the democrats who vetoed it. if you look at the polls, the majority say the republicans will be to blame if the country goes over the fiscal cliff.
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this fiscal cliff is not thrown on the country. this was voted on by this congress. they have been fighting over the issue of the country's debt. the deal they are fighting over will not impact the debt. they are trying to impact the deficit, trying not to add that much more onto the national debt. they have been fighting about this for two years. republicans say the best way is to cut spending. democrats say this time to raise taxes on the wealthiest americans. two years ago they started fighting about this. here we are where we started two years ago. >> is this the debt ceiling debacle all over again? >> it could be the debt ceiling. they fought over tax rates. then the debt ceiling came up. congress said they would not raise the debt ceiling unless the president caved on spending, and they could not
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come up with a deal. at the last minute, the credit rating had been downgraded. they came up with the idea to come up with this one trillion dollars in cuts. all of this has to do with the debt ceiling, and it could have another impact because the country is about to run out of money in late january and early february. a lot of people think the republicans will kick the can down the road if they do not feel they have the leverage to take on the president, go to that deadline and force his hand. it may not be over until february. we may be hearing the exact same words out of the same people's mouths for months to come. >> what does that mean for the u.s. economy? does it mean a double-dip recession some are worrying about? >> it is hard to find an economist who says it will not mean a recession. gdp growth has been under 3%.
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if you look at that, it is going to cause 4% of gdp. that is a recession. people are underestimating this is a consumer-driven economy. american spending keeps the economy afloat. they are going to get less in their paycheck. they are going to spend less. it could have a larger impact than that. the u.s. economy goes into a recession, asia is slowing, then it could have i huge impact on the global economy, which is why you see organizations like the international monetary fund saying both sides of the debate have to figure something out. so far they have thought-- not. >> the u.s. deputy secretary of state says the administration has learned some painful lessons from the attack on the consulate
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in libya. william burns is speaking at a senate hearing in washington. three of his staff were killed in the eastern city of benghazi on september 11 of this year. four people have been killed outside a police station. protesters were demanding the release of a man held in connection with a number of recent killings believed to have been assassinations. three u.s. senators are demanding changes to a new movie about osama bin laden. they complain zero dark thirty .s misleading and inaccurate i knew you in report says the conflict has become increasingly sectarian -- a new un reports of the conflict has become
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increasingly sectarian. >> the opposition fighters are making territorial gains. they have managed to push into hamas as part of the offensive, taking over some villages, but the government continues to fight back, using what the united nations describes as disproportionate force. neither side is winning the war, and the secretary-general believes there is no prospect to the end of the conflict in syria. >> series begins the year in conflict and ends the year in war -- syria begins the year in conflict and ends the year in war. >> it is pitting the alaouite community against the mainly sunni dominated opposition. the human rights council said there has been a clear shift in the nature of the conflict with
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more fighters and civilians on both sides describing the civil war in ethnic or religious terms. three fighters are filtering into syria to join the rebels, and hezbollah and iraqi shia are supporting the government. the report says there are foreign fighters, some with links to extremist groups, and some anti-government forces are becoming radicalized. we have met foreign fighters in syria. some of the groups they operate with work independently of the free syrian army. gov some have made clear they do not recognize the syrian national council and want an islamic state in syria. >> fears are growing that the war may not end with president assad leaving power. the u.n. has said there is a possibility of reprisal killings
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and prolonged and violence that could last four years after the government fall. the conflict is eggs and -- is approaching its second year. so far the euan report was the gloomiest assessment yet. heraso's president has said cares more about preventing chaos than keeping president assad in power. vladimir putin also blamed the u.s. for poisoning relations, and he is backing a draft law that bans americans from adopting russian children. the united nations security council has unanimously opposed sending troops to north mali, but they also want talks on reunification before the african-led force goes in. more from the un.
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>> the united nations security council resolution was a final diplomatic hurdles for the member states to consider. they can now go about discussing ways to deal with the country. specific language in earlier drafts have been taken out. it gives a lot of leeway and freedom to discuss ways they can help. they have been given all necessary measures for military intervention, but there are many questions and doubts about what kind of force could go into mali, who will make up these troops, where are they going to come from, how are they going to be comprised. the united nations secretary general has said he does not think it should come from direct you in finding. he prefers direct contribution -- from direct un funding. he prefers direct contributions. they are also dealing with
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weather conditions. this is not expected to be ready until october of 2013, which means continuing reports of human rights abuses could go on as well as concerns about increasing entrenchment of the extremist organizations in the north of mali. the founder of wikileaks has addressed supporters outside of the embassy in london, where he sought asylum. he fled there to avoid charges of treason. >> next year will be equally busy. wikileaks has already over a million documents preparing to be released, documents and that affect every country in the world, every country in this world. >> the venezuelan government says president chavez is conscious and in recovery 10 days after cancer surgery in cuba. vice president says chavez is receiving treatment for
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respiratory infection and has been with his family. he said he did not want to
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>> welcome back. the top stories. >> the senate democrats and the white house refused to act. they will be responsible for the largest tax hike in american history. >> the speaker of the house is a warning of dire consequences if u.s. politicians cannot agree on a budget. they are due to vote soon to avoid the fiscal cliff. the u.n. security council has unanimously approved sending troops to try to recapture no. mali from fighters linked to how canada. on his landmark visit to
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algeria, the french president -- who linked to al qaeda. on his landmark visit to algeria, francois hollande stopped short of an apology, but he did call french colonial rule and brutal and unjust. they have subjected -- they are algeria to subjecting the sui hunger and torture. >> i realize of months the sufferings, there were massacres in other places of algeria. >> hollande has been given where a warning. he has signed a deal in what he called a new era of relations. we are assessing the reaction to
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his visit. >> this is a difficult balancing act. on the one hand he needed to address the expectations of algerians, many of whom wanted to hear a french president say sorry for the colonial era, but on the other hand, he had to bear in mind hundreds of thousands of french people who themselves think they are victims of the war of independence, namely the people who have lived there for generations as refugees. we have spoken to people on both sides of the equation. the people we spoke to say they think he achieved that and act white addressing the truth and what happened but not necessarily using that word, sorry.
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there is lots of interest. there is the business relationships. france is the biggest foreign investor in algeria. francois hollande's claims france has created hundreds of thousands of jobs there, so it could be mutually beneficial for friends. there is a market for its products. also the creation of jobs, very important for a growing population. >> hundreds of people have paid their respects at a funeral for a health-care worker. they have since been suspended, but local health workers are considering vaccination's under police protection. police say a woman who was a gang rape on a bus is in critical but stable condition. the campaign is demanding a
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review of rape laws. the government says it will create five new courts to speed up prosecution. police have arrested five suspects and are looking for a sixth. in sri lanka, three days of deadly rains have caused landslides. at least 25 people have been killed, but the worst may not be over. >> he is lucky to be alive. his family escaped the dilution of mud that rolled down the mountain. >> of about 4:00 in the morning we heard of a huge roar like a plane. then there was a stench. we headed to higher ground, but we could see in rushing past. >> others are not so lucky. it crossed a number of houses. survivors were not taking any
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chances, carrying away a whatever they could to safety. even four-legged friends. they had good reason to leave. authorities are warning of more mudslides. >> there is a major danger of further mudslides. several cracks have appeared in several areas. >> he says regulations have been tightened for construction in high-risk areas, but existing buildings are a concern. >> the talk of finding those missing seems futile given the scale of destruction. as the hours pass hopes are fading of finding them alive. >> rapidly rising water levels have caught many by surprise. receiving,ter's people will soon begin the difficult task of recovering a. -- receding, people will soon
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begin to difficult -- begin the difficult task of recovering. >> the former minister was found guilty of inciting rape and murder. he was the minister at the time. people were killed over 100 days. the consumer has promised to do more to end poverty and the country the reagan -- non in the country. -- to end poverty in the country. >> she says they are struggling to raise their children. they are loyal to the national congress, but their patience is running out.
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>> i want anz, the leader is not right. they always promise but nothing. >> half an hour away, jacobs the mine makes more promises. economic trends toward it -- transformation and a better life for south africa. >> the government will transform the structure of the economy through the transition, addressing the basic needs of our people, including when men and -- including women and youth as well as expanding the role of the state. >> there will be no shift in policy. there will be greater state
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intervention in the mining sector, which will be taxed more. that will please investors but not the poor. officials also promised to fix the mistakes of the past. isobs uma's administration mired with corruption. he is under pressure to do things differently. millions of south africans want to speed up when reform, but the ruling party is afraid of losing investors and damaging the image internationally. the poor are becoming more disillusioned. the next few years should be challenging. pleasing investors and the majority could be impossible. u.s.,t's go back to the where the house of representatives have been voting on what they are calling plan
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bee. the tax cuts have been aimed at avoiding the fiscal cliff. what are you hearing about the vote? >> i can tell you this is strange. they have gone into recess, and that was unexpected. what they were expected to vote on was a plan by john boehner. he said they will vote to raise taxes on families making more than $1 million. that would keep taxes same for everyone else. he party conservatives say they do not want to raise taxes on anyone. they want to reduce the deficit by cutting spending. earlier the republican came out and said he has the votes. they do not normally say that unless they actually have the votes, but the bill is closer than people expected, so they reset what they have seen. the whip ran into the speaker's
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office. we do not know what is happening, but perhaps they do not have the votes to pass what they thing would be -- what they think would be a tax increase. it is unlikely they will come to any grand bargain, because the president said he will not sign anything that does not raise taxes on the wealthiest americans. it is interesting, but we will stick around. >> thanks. a rescue official says they have recovered 23 bodies of victims from a boat and sank off the somali coast. 23 people are still missing and presumed to have drowned. officials say the overcrowded boat left the port on tuesday. it capsized 15 minutes into the journey. it is the worst loss of life in the gulf of aden in nearly two years. the end of the world is near
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according to some finders -- some followers of the mayan calendar. others think it refers only to the start of a new era in the mayan calendar. we find out about the frenzy being caused. >> hoping to catch a glimpse of the ancient mayan cities before the so-called end of the world, thousands are flocking to what was once and religion -- religious centers but today is ground zero. star johnson believes the my and predicted a new era is about to begin and end -- the minds predicted a new era is about to begin. -- the mayans predicted a new era is about to begin. >> what ever will happen will happen. >> if they are waiting for the world to end, they may get a
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surprise. not a proper believes -- the belief of my answer -- the mayans predicted the end of the world comes from some tablets carved 1300 years ago. >> this is a new invention. people are celebrating on december 21, but they are believing something the my ins never said -- the mayans never said. >> it has not stopped hollywood from increasing his area. >> people have predicted there will be a magnetic poles shift, climate change, earthquakes, all of those kinds of things. there is no scientific evidence.
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>> fact or fiction is causing a boom in tourism, especially for mexico. unfortunately for vendors, and more tourists are not necessarily translating into more profit. >> sales have been down. we hope it gets better. we are not selling as much as we use too. >> of 2012 does not bring the end of the world, at least if it is awakening a new interest in prius ann coulter -- prehistoric culture. but in york stock exchange is being sold to a little known rival for about $8 billion. the deal ends a 200 years of independence. the intercontinental exchanges a 12-year company that deals with investing contracts. companies say the deal will change for the financial
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district. a major winter storm could bring a white christmas to some in the u.s. with blizzard warnings in several states
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